US Department of Energy cash is to fund R&D and testing of advanced microgrid controllers capable of managing and controlling such systems to improve viability, reliability and resiliency of the electric distribution grid.

Under the auspices of a $1.2 million Microgrid Research Development and System Design (RD&D) project, Alstom is one of seven organisations to receive microgrid funding ($8 million total) from the DoE.

The company will research and design community microgrid systems for the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC) and the Philadelphia Water Department (PWD) in the state of Pennsylvania, through a demonstration project that will be implemented at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, a 1200-acre former naval shipyard and now a business campus with more than 145 companies occupying more than two million square metres.

Upon completion, part of the campus will be self-sufficient in generating, managing and storing electricity and will be able to operate independently from the main grid, in particular in case of an outage due to extreme weather or other extraordinary event.